Doug Williams

Redskins Rumors: Peterson, Galette, Cap

Neither Daniel Snyder nor Redskins president Bruce Allen knew about the team’s decision to bring Adrian Peterson in for a workout. Instead, VP of player personnel Doug Williams and football operations president Eric Shaffer moved forward with the audition that quickly led to Peterson signing and then reclaiming an NFL starting gig.

(Shaffer) looked and me and said, ‘Well, what do you think, what do we got to lose?’” Williams said during a radio interview with the Team 980’s Doc Walker (via the Washington Post). “I’m a little hesitant to pull the plug, and then before I went out to practice I looked at Eric and said, ‘Hey Eric, what the heck? Let’s do it.’

The thing about that, I came to practice, I was so hyped about it that I forgot to tell Bruce that we was bringing him in. I’m sitting there that evening and Bruce came in my office and he just stood there looking at me. I’m thinking, ‘What’d I do?’ Well, Dan had called him and let him know he didn’t know. And Bruce let me know that he didn’t know because Dan didn’t know. I said, ‘Well look, that’s on me.’ I took it. Sometimes you have to have big shoulders, you take it and you move on.”

Williams arranged the workout for Monday, at a time when the Redskins were searching for available backs, and Peterson signed for the veteran minimum later that day. Peterson is thriving with Washington, his fourth NFL team; his 236 yards are fourth among players who’ve played just three games. He scored twice and rushed for a season-high 120 yards (6.3 per carry) in the Redskins’ 31-17 Week 3 win over the Packers.

Here’s the latest out of the nation’s capital:

  • Unless the Redskins see a member of their edge-rushing contingent suffer a setback, don’t look for them to bring back Junior Galette. Redskins brass is comfortable with its quartet of Ryan Kerrigan, Pernell McPhee, Preston Smith and Ryan AndersonRich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington notes. Galette’s expressed regret he turned down a Washington offer, for what the veteran pass rusher says was for two years and $10MM, this offseason. The Redskins informed him during free agency they were moving in a different direction. A Rams visit also did not produce a deal. After two season-nullifying injuries, Galette played in 16 Washington games last season and recorded three sacks. Of the aforementioned incumbents, only Anderson has a sack this season.
  • Washington would like this season to be a redshirt campaign for third-round pick Geron Christian. Jay Gruden said this week (per Tandler) he would like the rookie offensive linemen to learn this season. Christian has not been active on a game day yet, and the Redskins’ offensive line hasn’t encountered the injury trouble it did in 2017.
  • Although Washington has not made Caleb Brantley part of any of its 46-man Sunday rosters, the team views the young defensive lineman as a rotational piece down the line, Tandler adds. The Browns waived Brantley after one season. He played in 12 games as a rookie, starting one, and registered two sacks and a fumble recovery. Washington’s receiving strong play from its defensive line thus far, making opportunities for the second-year newcomer scarce.
  • One of the ways Washington can increase its cap space next year (projected total of $25MM) would be by cutting Josh Norman. While that line of thinking surfaced over the summer, Tandler writes it may behoove the team to keep its top corner in the fold for another season. A Norman release would save Washington $8.5MM but also stick the franchise with $6MM in dead money. Washington ranks second in total defense thus far and moved on from Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland this offseason. Norman’s working with Quinton Dunbar and Fabian Moreau now.

Pollard Alliance Releases HC, GM Candidates

The Fritz Pollard Alliance met with the NFL this week and submitted names of suggested GM and head coaching candidates. The list, which is distributed to teams each year, recommends minority candidates for openings around the league. Teryl Austin (vertical)

This year’s candidates for GM jobs are Joey Clinkscales (Raiders), Alonzo Highsmith (Packers), Ray Farmer (Rams consultant), Will McClay (Cowboys), and Doug Williams (Redskins), according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The head coaching candidates are Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, Vikings DC George Edwards, Panthers DC Steve Wilks, and Titans offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Farmer has ten years of front office experience under his belt, including two as the Browns’ GM. The team went 10-22 under his watch, so wouldn’t necessarily be an exciting choice for a team this offseason. The other four suggested candidates would be first-time GMs, if hired.

Austin has been considered a bonafide head coaching candidate for some time, but he has been left in a holding pattern. In the 2016 offseason, Austin opined that two of his four interviews were done solely to satisfy the Rooney Rule. This past year, he interviewed with the Rams and Chargers.

Absent from the list is former Bills GM Doug Whaley, who received a potentially bogus interview with the Browns this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Floyd, Cousins, 49ers, Eagles

Vikings wide receiver Michael Floyd is fighting back against a report that he violated his house arrest rules by testing positive for alcohol, telling Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: “Totally false. The whole thing is false. You can’t believe everything TMZ says.” Floyd, who had completed 91 days of his 96-day house arrest sentence as of Monday, is due in court June 26.

His agent, also named Brian Murphy, released a statement Friday, part of which says (full statement here via ESPN’s Adam Schefter):

“On June 10, 2017, Michael watched movies at his place of residence until 3:00 a.m. During that time, he drank several bottles of kombucha tea drinks, unaware that the drinks contain alcohol.

On June 11, 2017 at 5:30 a.m., Michael was tested and his blood alcohol content was .055. Michael was tested again at 5:54 a.m. and his blood alcohol content was down to .045. Michael was tested again at 6:23 a.m. and his blood alcohol content was .044. He then went back to sleep and missed a test at 6:33 a.m.”

More from the NFC:

  • Newly named Redskins senior vice president of of player personnel Doug Williams told NFL Network on Friday that he wants the team to extend contract-year quarterback Kirk Cousins “in the worst way” (via Conor Orr of NFL.com). Williams isn’t involved in talks with Cousins’ camp, though, as president Bruce Allen and VP of football administration Eric Schaffer “have been on this negotiation for a long time.” In the event the Redskins are unable to prevent Cousins from hitting free agency next winter, they’ll have to “search long and hard to find” a capable successor, Williams noted. “But at the same time, we got a capable backup here in Colt McCoy, who can hold the fort down for a while or even take it the long distance.”
  • The 49ers have not broached an extension with safety Eric Reid, the contract-year defender told Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com. Reid, a 2013 first-round pick who’s set to play his fifth-year option season at a $5.676MM salary, is moving from free safety to strong safety this year. Between that and the fact that San Francisco has a new regime, including head coach Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, the team likely wants to see if Reid’s a fit before considering making a long-term commitment to him, notes Wagoner. Saleh’s impressed with Reid so far, calling the 25-year-old “unbelievable from a mental standpoint,” “very athletic” and “strong.”
  • The Eagles announced some changes to their scouting staff on Friday, including promoting Trey Brown from director of college scouting to player personnel executive college/pro and hiring Ian Cunningham to take over Brown’s old post. Brown was among a few candidates who interviewed last month for the Bills’ then-vacant general manager job, which ended up going to Brandon Beane. Cunningham’s new to Philly, having spent the previous nine years with Baltimore. There, he worked with Joe Douglas, whom the Eagles hired as their vice president of player personnel last year.

Redskins Announce Front Office Changes

The Redskins are reshuffling things in the front office. On Tuesday morning, the team announced a number of moves, including the promotion of Doug Williams to the title of senior vice president of player personnel. Doug Williams

In related news, Eric Schaffer has been named vice president of football operations and Scott Campbell will become senior personnel executive. The most notable element here, however, is perhaps the move that wasn’t made by Washington. The team did not announce a new general manager, giving the impression that team president Bruce Allen will once again call the shots and have final say over the roster.

Williams, of course, is a Redskins legend for his Super Bowl XXII MVP performance following the 1987 season. In that game, the former first round pick helped the Redskins put up 42 points as they downed John Elway and the Broncos. Williams, who has spent eleven years in various scouting and personnel roles with the Buccaneers and Redskins, says that he is excited for the new challenge.

You want this day to come. You hope it comes. It’s here today,” Williams said at a presser on Tuesday morning. “I’m blessed and I’m going to embrace it.”

At least for this year, the expectation is that Williams & Co. will report to Allen, Tom Pelissero of USA Today tweets. More tweaks could be on the way, however. Redskins’ Director of Pro Personnel director Alex Santos is one of the execs that could be primed for a bigger role, per Pelissero.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Austin, Redskins, Pack, Panthers

Tavon Austin will miss the Rams‘ offseason program after undergoing surgery to repair ligament damage in his left wrist, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com reports. This is an arthroscopic procedure that will shelve the fifth-year player during Los Angeles’ OTAs/minicamp portion of the schedule, but Gonzalez notes Austin is expected to be ready for training camp. The slot receiver will be looking to bounce back from a down year, one that followed the $42MM extension signed last summer. Austin is expected to be a key component of Sean McVay‘s offense as he attempts to revive the league’s worst passing attack.

Here’s the latest from the NFC.

  • The Redskins are continuing to search for a GM to succeed Scot McCloughan, but team president Bruce Allen isn’t expediting this process. “As far as what we are going to do, it hasn’t changed since March. We are going to be in the process of looking to see what we need to add to our personnel department to enhance the people that are here,” Allen said on a Daniel Snyder-owned radio station (via the team’s website), adding the Redskins plan to take their time while conducting this search. “There is some good quality people out there that’s available that we are talking to.” A report emerged earlier this week indicating Washington submitted a proposal to the NFL to restructure its front office without a GM. Allen denied that rumor, saying “there is no submission to the league on a form or anything like that.”
  • Redskins exec Doug Williams saw an expanded role during the draft, and Jarrett Bell of USA Today makes a case the former Super Bowl MVP is a logical candidate for Allen to consider. A fourth-year staffer in the Redskins’ front office, Williams has not been interviewed for the job, Bell reports. Allen gave the 61-year-old Williams his first NFL executive job, doing so with the Buccaneers during the 2000s. Even if the Redskins opt to go without a GM, they must interview a minority candidate for the position to comply with the Rooney Rule, per Bell. Williams has served as a senior personnel executive in Washington. The former Redskins quarterback been mentioned as an internal candidate for this job and linked to promotion to another higher-level position with the Redskins. He served as the Bucs’ pro scouting coordinator from 2009-10 and was the Virginia Destroyers’ GM in the now-defunct United Football League following the Tampa Bay stay.
  • Packers fourth-round pick Vince Biegel suffered a hand injury during rookie minicamp Friday that induced him to return Saturday with a club on the injured hand. However, Biegel said — via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com — he did not break any bones and was wearing the cast-like bandage as a precaution.
  • The Panthers gave Olympic sprinter Marvin Bracy a tryout at their rookie minicamp, David Newton of ESPN.com notes. A 100-meter Olympian at the Rio Games and former United States 60-meter dash champion, the 23-year-old Bracy spent a year on the Florida State football team as a redshirt before leaving the program to focus on track. The latest in a line of recent Olympic sprinters or jumpers to be given NFL tryouts, joining Jeff Demps and Jeff Henderson in that regard, the 5-foot-9 Bracy has a 9.93-second 100-meter clocking to his credit.

Redskins Likely To Hire GM From Within?

The Redskins have now tackled both free agency and the draft without a formal general manager in place, as Scot McCloughan‘s departure left a vacancy atop Washington’s decision-making structure. Having maneuvered the two primary avenues of player acquisition sans GM, the “most likely course” for the Redskins is to promote incumbent executive Doug Williams into a more critical position that supervises football operations, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.Doug Williams

Williams, who has worked for the Redskins since 2014 and also has experience with the Buccaneers and Jaguars, has been linked to a possible ascension in the nation’s capital previously, as Mike Jones of the Washington Post indicated earlier in March that Williams could be a candidate to take over as general manager. Other known quantities such as former Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik, ex-Chargers GM A.J. Smith, and NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock have also been linked to the job, but La Canfora reports Washington “never really wanted” to make an external hire.

Even if Williams is promoted to general manager, team president Bruce Allen would effectively remain in charge, per La Canfora. But new roles could also be in store for employees such as scout Alex Santos and or contract negotiator Eric Schaffer, according to the CBS scribe.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Could Consider Williams For GM

As they search for their next general manager in the wake of Scot McCloughan‘s firing on Thursday, the Redskins could consider one of their former quarterbacks, Doug Williams, for the role, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Mike Jones of the Washington Post first mentioned Williams as a potential candidate Wednesday.

Doug Williams

The 61-year-old Williams’ only work as a GM came back in 2011 with the Virginia Destroyers of the now-defunct United Football League, but he has garnered front office experience at the highest level with the Buccaneers (with whom he played from 1978-82) and Redskins.

Williams has been a personnel executive with Washington since 2014, but he’s best known for his tenure as the franchise’s signal-caller from 1986-89. Even though Williams only started 14 games during that four-year span, he was at the helm for the Redskins’ 42-10 rout of the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII, which capped off the 1987 season. Williams tossed four touchdowns in that game and completed 18 of 29 passes for 340 yards.

If Williams ends up as the Redskins’ GM, his most important decision in the early going will likely center on their current starting quarterback, the franchise-tagged Kirk Cousins, who could be entering his last season with the franchise. Before he helps map out Cousins’ future, though, Williams will have to beat out other general manager candidates like NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock and ex-Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik, among other possibilities.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins, McCloughan Likely To Part Ways

It sure sounds like Scot McCloughan will be ousted in D.C. The Redskins have been “entertaining” new general manager options for “quite some time,” numerous league sources tell Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Apparently, the team has internally discussed names and La Canfora writes says they have “essentially have begun the process.” Unsurprisingly, then, a parting of ways is “inevitable” – perhaps in the form of a buyout – multiple sources tell Mike Jones of the Washington Post.Scot McCloughan (vertical)

If team president Bruce Allen looks for a successor to McCloughan, one name that has surfaced is former Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik, who has a history with Allen. La Canfora also suggests a possible promotion for executive Alex Santos, though the team has never promoted from within to fill the GM role, while Jones adds that ex-Redskins quarterback Doug Williams and former Chargers GM A.J. Smith are possibilities.

As for McCloughan himself, La Canfora hears the GM is not in rehab (he has dealt with alcohol-related issues) and has not been in rehab during his hiatus from the team. However, he has not stopped drinking since joining the Redskins in 2015, per Jones, who writes that McCloughan’s peers don’t believe that has negatively affected his work. McCloughan and Allen have been at loggerheads over several matters, details Jones, and it looks as if their inability to coexist will lead to a divorce.

Reportedly, the chaos in Washington is making the representatives of free agents question the team’s stability.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Seahawks, Ryan, Packers, Saints

Several players from the Super Bowl champion Seahawks had their 2014 salaries become fully guaranteed this week, notes Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com in his latest update on teams’ cap space. Percy Harvin, Cliff Avril, and Kam Chancellor had their contracts for 2014 vest from partially guaranteed to fully guaranteed, according to Fitzgerald, who notes that Matt Ryan of the Falcons was among the other players in that boat.

Here’s more from across the NFC:

  • Having drafted well and avoided bad contracts, the Packers will have significantly more cap flexibility this offseason than many of their NFC rivals, says Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • 13 players from the Saints‘ Super Bowl win in 2010 remain on the team’s roster, but as many of nine of those players could depart this offseason, writes Mike Triplett of ESPN.com. As Triplett points out, four are unrestricted free agents, while five more are potential cap casualties.
  • Compensatory picks for the 2014 draft won’t be announced for a few more weeks, and the Falcons‘ situation is murky, as D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Based on projections by Craig Turner (via Philly.com), the Falcons could add as many as four compensatory picks, but may end up with just one or two, depending on where the cutoff is.
  • The Redskins have hired former Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams to their front office as a personnel executive, the team announced today in a press release.